The iconic Hotel Londra Palace in Venice dates back to 1853. It was known first as the Hotel d’Angleterre & Pension and then the Londres. In 1865 the Beau Rivage was built, in neo-lombardy style, with a connecting link to the Hôtel d’Angleterre. The raising of the old building’s roof in the 50’s and the last and the most recent renovation of the facade and interior public spaces gave the hotel its current appearance.
The heritage property enjoys a spectacular location with direct panoramic views over the lagoon and Venice. The hotel has a direct opening on to the pier (not the canal as many luxury hotels) a position which today adds to its safety, with a lesser humidity and mold. The fact that all its large windows open is yet another critical advantage, being scientifically proven that fresh circulating air can limit drastically the spread of Covid-19.
Nowadays, Hotel Londra Palace has been privately owned by the small luxury hotel group BCM, which also owns the J.K. Place Firenze and Borgo dei Conti in Umbria. The family owners have been investing in renovating the property which has always undergone consistent maintenance. Rooms and suites vary in interior design, with a subtle mix of contemporary and classic, without leaning into neither creative angles.
All the rooms and suites are among the largest in Venice, with superb marble bathrooms of the highest luxury calibre. The hotel boasts a highly frequented main restaurant with a large outdoor terrace (ideal these days) as well as a bar and a lounge resembling a sleek library.
Without any international consultants or certifications, the privately owned property was spotless on its third day after the lockdown reopening, on July 2nd when I visited the hotel. The hotel has been impeccably and firmly implementing the most comprehensive set of Covid-19 safety and hygiene measures which many large groups or chains are still striving to implement, most of then still only in part.
I was most impressed by the small twist elements such as the fact that the disinfectant gel, widely and generously placed throughout all public places, was custom made for the hotel by the prestigious perfumer Dr Vranjes, making the gel a beautiful scent ‘excuse’. All towels and bed linen were brand new, not only superbly cleaned but also oozing a sense of cozyness.
What is also a lesson for any other luxury hotels, is the extent of the training of staff regarding the implementation of measures, with a mix between a delicate and more firm approach. The physical keys would be disinfected at all interaction with front office, staff would not ride with guests in the same elevators, the TV remote would be sealed and housekeeping service is only provided on specific demand and subject to approval by each guest.
No food or drink would be served indoors in any venue of the hotel – breakfast would be only available in the room or on the terrace. Although the menus would be slightly more restricted, no compromise could be felt in quality and service. Do not miss the exceptional cocktails of the LondraBar and if you want to impress your loved one, the hotel can organise a most romantic dinner at the roof-top Junior Suite, with the most spectacular views of Venice.
More importantly, the implementation of all Covid-19 hygiene and safety measures would be made in a most effortless way, with staff seemingly confident, lending the same feeling to guests. None of the measures briefed or explained would be excessive and reinforcement would also be effortless, without turning into the hotel into a hospital.
Literally steps from Piazza San Marco, Hotel Londra Palace is an ideal base to discover and experience Venice, for both first visitors and connoisseurs. The Concierge would be perfectly equipped to propose exceptional activities, all in keeping with social distancing rules – ideally more private venues, easily reachable, far from the more crowded areas.
Overall service is of the highest standards, extremely attentive, caring, warm and most importantly genuine. Staff would amazingly adapt to the most different guest profile, those who may wish to be more engaging and those seeking a more reserved approach. The very well synchronised staff do make up a team and this can be very rarely felt even in some of the finest luxury hotels around the world.
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